Beauty in the Sea

Many moons ago I was in this Bible study that spoke of beauty.  While this really didn’t touch my heart all that much (I’m a tomboy at heart), they asked a question during one of the sessions that has resonated with me through the years.

“When do you feel the most beautiful?”

I struggled with this question.  I oscillate between “Why am I in the medical field when I should be modeling swimwear” and “When is it socially appropriate to put a bag over one’s head in public?”  But realistically, I’m somewhere in between.

Even when I get all dolled up, I always manage to find flaws in myself upon reviewing the pictures. It’s the perpetual let-down of, “Oh, I look fantastic, except for the fact I look bloated and my eye-make up smudged….”

Then it hit me: I know where I feel the most beautiful.

In the ocean, with hair down, bikini on, and nearly 8 feet of plastic strapped to my right ankle.  I feel even more beautiful with those big powerful waves with clean faces are headed my way – or as I like to put it – the Lord put the tokens in the wave machine.

Here there are no cameras, any make up would be washed away after taking a wave on the head.  My hair is perfect because it’s covered in salt water and my skin turns a beautiful shade of pink under the sun.  I was made for summer days.

After a bit more digging in my genealogical past, I found my ancestors on my mother’s side originated from what is now northern Poland, on the Baltic Sea – my father’s mother’s family is from the shores of Normandy, France – the sea is in my blood.

And that’s as beautiful as it gets.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

My mom snapped this picture of me last summer, heading back out to where the waves are breaking.

This Christmas Morning

This Christmas morning is going to be an anomaly for me….one I told myself I would never repeat.

I will be alone.

The beautiful thing about working in the healthcare industry is that there are no holidays.  Sure, you get days off, but weekends, holidays, points of time most people hold sacred – they have no meaning to us.  We have lives to save and people to treat.  My current employer is not open on Christmas this year.  My husband, however, has a gig.  In fact, this is a normal week for him.  I kept toying with the idea to pick up hours at my former employer – they would be open Christmas Day – but I never picked up the phone to inquire.  So much has changed there, I’d have to relearn my job.  Despite the stress of that place, I feel terrible that I’m not taking someone’s spot, who could spend that time with family and friends – I remember working double shifts to help coworkers.  My family is thousands of miles away, as is The General’s.

This happened once before, when I was still in Illinois.  I kinda sorta freaked out about it.  Granted, I can do anything by myself – fly half way across the world, go out to dinner, attend a show/party/gathering.  But for some reason, Christmas is always hard.  To offset the lonely Christmas I had (single and working), I went all out and bought a tree with ornaments and transformed my apartment into a Christmas wonderland.  I found it quite therapeutic.  Christmas Eve, my college roommate showed up with her husband, gifts, and a hot ‘n ready pizza.  It was one of the best Christmas memories I have.  They drove a half hour out of their way to make sure I had a merry Christmas.  That will always stay with me.

This year, however, all is not lost.  The General and I are getting together with Pat and Chris (old family friends) for dinner, gifts, and games on Christmas Evening.  It’s just that the morning is going to be rough for me.  Different, perhaps is a better word.  I really have no desire to sit alone in this big empty house with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.  I have decided to go to the beach, and if I get up early enough, I can watch the sunrise over the ocean.  I’ve found there’s very few things in this world that a walk on the beach doesn’t make better/put in perspective.

It’s time to make some new Christmas traditions.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled summer….

The General and I ushered in summer the other day: it’s officially summer at our house.

We woke up early last Saturday and made our way to Pleasure Island.  I stopped for Britt’s Donuts and then we headed to our secret spot at Kure Beach.  The surf report said the water was 70F, but I disagree, it felt much colder.  Despite that, I hit the waves with a boogie board and had a blast.  We brought a vegetarian lunch (grapes, humus, pretzel chips, water, and cookies!) and ate on the strand.

I spent most of my time reading and burning my back to a crisp — as did The General.  He wasn’t too excited about getting into the cold water.

We stayed out until early afternoon, came home, showered, and hung a hammock on our back deck.  It was heaven.  It’s big enough for both of us to sit in and it is the perfect reading nook.

Image

Ah, summer…..

We made dinner and spent the evening rocking the hammock with a glass of wine. Summer has arrived!  

Bonus:  We’re sticking out the weather by not turning on our AC until absolutely necessary.  We haven’t turned it on yet! I’m loving the nature sounds from our backyard (birds, amorous frogs/toads, cicadas, crickets….). 

This summer has promised many adventures for us.  More to come soon!

Pier to Pier sharing

A couple of weeks ago I went to the dermatologist to get a body scan: you get naked and they look over every inch of your skin for signs of sun damage, abnormal moles, and skin cancer.  I live at the beach and I’m a thirtysomething now, so I figured it was high time I get checked out.  It was my 1st ever exam like this and I’m glad I went: they biopsied 2 sites.  One was negative, the other was not.  While it wasn’t skin cancer, it had the potential to become that in the future, so they did a punch biopsy to remove the entire mole and the skin around it…..it left a big hole, so they stitched me up.  Ugh.  For the 3rd time in 5 years, I have stitches.  The worse part is that this is on my right arm, right by my wrist and I can’t lift anything over 20 pounds in fear of ripping my stitches and having an even bigger mess.  This means no arm workouts for me that I was so diligent in doing; no rock climbing, no yoga. I have another week or so until they take the stitches out, so I felt the need to do something epic to make up for my lack of lifting. My ultimate goal is to do a deadman pull up.

I can’t run during the week because of the sun: it’s dark before work and it’s dark after work.  I love running at night, but I live in Wilmington, a city that is above the national average in murders, rapes, and robberies.  Really, it’s just not a good idea.  So I’ve turned into a weekend warrior, run-walking 4 miles when I can.  I decided for a change of scenery I’d drive to the pier at Carolina Beach and do my typical 4 mile: 2 out, 2 back.  I had my GPS watch on so I could track my milage.  I started walking south towards Kure Beach when it hit me:  I should walk to the Kure Beach Pier.  That doubled my workout: 8 miles around trip.  I was on!

It was so good for my soul.  I really pushed myself.  I saw a dolphin in the shorebreak with a baby – another woman who saw it said it appeared she was nursing – and had it been summer, I probably would have ran out there to try and be near them.  I found beach glass, I had great music on my iPod, and the sun was shinning.  I took off my coat and tied it around my waist because I got too hot — perfect day!  However, I am not super woman.  Running on packed sand is hard on the legs and the last 2 miles I walked the entire thing.  While I had water with me, when I got back to the car I was visibly weak and didn’t feel quite right.  I stopped at Food Lion on my way in for a quick snack of a Kind Bar (love love love those things) and a bit of chocolate (hey, I needed the sugar and I totally earned it).  Once I got home and ate more food and drank more water, I laid on the couch for an hour and a half.  Muscularly speaking, the next day I was a hot mess.  So sore, but it was so worth it.

This weekend, it was again really nice out, so I decided to do it again.  This time The General came with me.  He hasn’t been able to run in over a year because he blew out a joint in his toe and can’t run without immense pain.  Walking, while it can bother it, isn’t as bad as running.   So we packed a bag of granola bars and water and walked towards Kure Beach.  We stopped twice to rest and rearrange socks.  For being 42, he’s quite the trooper.  But I knew this already: we’ve backpacked Europe 3 times in our relationship.  It was a great beach hike, with another picture perfect North Carolina winter day.  We had some great meaningful conversations and laughed about stupid things as well.  Another epic adventure!  And we weren’t all that sore this morning either!

When I did my solo run/walk, I did it in 2 hours.  Walking with The General, it took us 2 hours 23 minutes.  “Next time, we’ll try to shave off 20 minutes,” The General said.   I’m already looking forward to our next hike!

Another life goal of mine is to walk from Ft. Fisher to Bald Head Island (which is now technically a peninsula after a hurricane), which is about 18 miles one way on the beach.  I’d spend the night or 2 on the island and then backpack back to Ft. Fisher.  Someday!

Dreissig

I must say the best way to turn 30 is overseas…..or on top of the sea for that matter.  My birthday cruise (Charleston – Freeport – Nassau) was 5 days of awesomeness.

This was the 1st cruise for both of us, so it was quite a learning experience.  We spend a ridiculous amount of money on zee boat, but it was all worth it.  Alcohol is expensive even when there is no tax in international waters.  The biggest take away from cruising?  It will be the best sleep you have ever had.  Our stateroom was in the stern of the boat; between the hum of diesel power and the boat rocking, I had the most intense dreams of my life and my REM cycles were basically comas.  It was amazing.

Our adventures included (but were certainly not limited to):

  • Running a 5k at sea on their running track
  • Driving a stick shift jeep around Freeport and the country roads with a couple from our dinner table
  • Dressing up in formal wear for an evening of elegance (and yes, I wore a dress I bought at the age of 15 — spandex gowns always fit)
  • Hitting up Taino Beach and experiencing the crystal clear blue waters of the Bahamas
  • Eating the finest food I’ve had in my life
  • Gaining 6 pounds from said food
  • Best mixed Long Island/Bahama Mama ever
  • Getting marooned in Nassau due to engine trouble for 4 hours
  • Reading a Clive Cussler book on deck
  • Going down a waterslide on the ship
  • Saw a reef and snorkeled for the 1st time (even though I dropped 2 snorkels in the reef 15ft below so I eventually just gave up and just put my masked face in the water to take in the beauty of the fish and coral)
  • Had my 1st ever catamaran ride
  • Thoroughly enjoyed my marriage (as my pastor would say)
  • Ate my birthday lunch at Senior Frogs.  I know, there’s on in MB, but here was way awesome.  I would go back, the veggie fajitas were perfect
  • Finding out one of the ladies from my bible study was also on the cruise and we ran into them in the cafeteria
  • Saw a live show on stage — I had “notes” for whoever the TD was due to their lighting choices (the entire grid was freakin’ technobeams. Seriously?!?! Rail was intel with ETC parcans with odd gel holders) — but actor/singing wise it was well done – women dancing in thongs and fishnets for a scene can be tasteful if done right, believe it or not
  • Learned how to play roulette – and lose.  Did the same with the 2 cent slot machines – I was up by $5 – but I kept going and lost it all.  The game of craps was explained to me but it was way over my head, so I didn’t play that.  I lost about $30.  How fitting, eh?

Dinner was fun – not only was it a 3 course gourmet meal – but you had to dress nicely, which meant no flip flops.  So to dinner every night I wore my 5″ Guess peek toe patten leather pumps.  Oh yeah, finally had a reason to wear them.  Our dinner companions were all from South Carolina and it was quite the motley crew.  Even though I was a sophisticated 30 year old for half of the cruise, I was the youngest there by 10 years.  2 of the couples were on their honeymoon: a super-Christian couple (they were so cute) and a couple from MB that went with us on the jeep adventure.  They were so easy going and we laughed a lot.  One couple was hit or miss – they only showed up a handful of times.  The oldest couple there were obviously wealthy and cultured — and very interesting.  When everyone was exchanging “how we got engaged” stories, they were mum.  “We’re getting divorced,” the man said.  How odd, I thought, to get divorced and cruise with your soon to be ex-wife.  I brought this up to The General and he laughed.  What they meant was they were divorcing other people to be together.  And this was their celebration.  Oh.  Wow.  How I missed that context clue, I don’t know.  Nonetheless, we all gelled and had excellent dinner conversation.

And the service?  OMG.  I’ve never had such wonderful examples of customer service than on that boat.  Wow.  They even turned down our bed at night.  It would just magically happen!  We’d come back, and tada! complete with pillow chocolates.  I suspected gnomes.  We have gnomes in our house, but instead they leave crumbs on the counter, sand on the floor, and stuff all over the place.

To quote The General on my voicemail during his 1st day back at work, “I want to get back on the boat.”  Indeed.  We’d totally do it again, now that we know what to expect….and spend.  I’m already planning a Mediterranean cruise for my 50th.

2 things really hit home on the cruise.

Kure Beach is still my favorite.  Sure the waters were clear in the Bahamas and the reef made me want to be SCUBA certified, but there were no waves.  It was like a giant blue lake, even thought it was an ocean.  I ❤ my KB.  That didn’t change.

The General has joked (half joking, I believe),  that he would buy me boobs for my 30th birthday if I wanted them.  I’m a 36B, but the “B” stands for barely.  Since I’ve started packing on the pounds with the cruise and then my parents had to go and spoil me rotten with Harry and David goodies (cookies and truffles) — so needless to say, I got some boobs.  Unfortunately I got the free hips and thighs too.  And I lost my receipt.  The pavement and I are going to go on a lot of dates in the next few weeks. <sigh>  I really do want to tone everything.  And no, I’m not getting a boob job.

The most awesome gift came from my mom and husband – Rosetta Stone for German.  The General and I are planning a Berlin adventure for next summer and my German consists of what I remember from my freshman year of high school and bits of Rammstein lyrics — I really do want to learn the language of my ancestors.  So far, it’s been quite a challenging study plan.  My next goal is to start reading books in German — but I don’t have a firm enough grasp of the language for novels just yet.  I asked The General to get me the book “Twilight” in German for Christmas – it’s easy language and I know the story.  It’s hilarious: in German that title is “Biss Zum Morgengrauen,” which literally translates to “bite of the daybreak.” I guess that would be twilight, huh?  It’s going to be an amazing ride and I hope I can speak it well enough to say, “Ja, Ich sprache Deutsch” – yes, I speak German.

And so there it is: dreissig (which is 30 in German).  This decade is gonna rock.

Make like an egg and beat it

Pennsylvania was awesome, we had such a great time with the family there.  I went face first into the pierogies and learned of a new Polish dish: haluski (which basically means cabbage and noodles).  I’m really getting into the whole heritage cooking bit.  Here’s a recipe I found, but haven’t tried yet.  The General, who is half Polish, commented he didn’t care much for this.  Are you kidding me?!  This stuff was amazing!

The craziest part of the 12 hours in a car was the last stretch of curving mountainous highway at 4am.  I was driving – and getting very tired, I probably shouldn’t have been driving at this point – and Google maps tells us to take a right hand turn.  It was a dirt road.  We kinda laughed about it. “If directions to your house include, ‘turn off the paved road,’ you might be a redneck.”  And then it went from dirt road to boulder field.  We’re in a little hatchback, this car was not designed for a dirt road with rocks as big as one’s head.  Remember playing Oregon Trail as a kid and at the end you have to do that river part where you’re dodging logs?  Same concept here.  Luckily, this was the last road to take, and 5 scary minutes later, we pulled into the homestead at 5:30am.  We turned off the ignition, leaned the seats back, and promptly fell into a deep slumber for 3 hours before we woke up for the party.  All of my nieces and nephews where there – we got huge family picture – and we had a blast.  I played what I called “Polish volleyball:”  it’s volleyball where there are no set positions and you serve from the wrong side of the court.  It was hilarious, but a lot of fun.

The past couple of days haven’t been kind to me.  I decided to head on into an angry looking ocean the other day with nearly head high shorebreak.  I got up to my ankles and a big wave came.  I tried to block it with my board, but instead, the ocean pushed the board into my forehead and knocked me down backwards, rolled, and pushed me.  I have a goose egg on my forehead, which lucky for me, hasn’t started changing colors.  My back was scraped up, but the muscular strain was much worse.  I sat on the beach for a few to collect myself – I really thought I had a concussion.  I’m fine.  A little wiser now, too.

Work has been crazy.  That place really stresses me out.  I have a hard time not getting frustrated.  Especially when you’re there for 11 hours and you’re  doing some mundane task like counting cells under a microscope when you should be half way through a cup of tea on the couch at home.

I feel I haven’t been using my mornings effectively.  I’ve tried to limit my time on Facebook and spend more time in my quiet time, but it never seems to work out on the stage of real life.

I’m not sure if it was from the reunion or my love affair with s’mores, or me being non-compliant with my thyroid Rx,  but my weight is on it’s way up.  I started back on my vegetarian diet and all was going well until last night: I saw the soup at work was “vegetarian beet” and I was like, “Huh, I don’t care for beets, but I will try it!”  Well, the hand written sign actually said “beef” not “beet.”  Oops.  Oh well, I ate it and it was really good.

I should have gone out surfing this morning, but the waves didn’t look too good on the cam, despite the ocean looking like pepper with all the surfers out there.  It was a cool 21C morning, so we went running.  Ran a 5k in 34 minutes ::sigh::  It’s racing season and I need to seriously get my butt in gear with some speedwork if I want to actually run a respectable time.

I’m going to miss the summer, but I’m sorta looking forward to fall.  I want both.  I want some fall days mixed in with those awesome summer days.

Beached to be beached

My face is sunburn.  There’s salt sticking to my arms as the water dried.  I have a ridiculous amount of ice cream in my stomach and dinner is just a marinade and a grill away from being fabulous.  Oh, and one of my good friends J, and her boyfriend D, are here for the weekend.  Unfortunately, my General had to work.

This work-free weekend has been brought to me by Kure Beach, Slush, and my alma mater.  Yay!

We spent the day at Kure, soaking up the sun and catching up, talking about cars and my love affair with the new 2011 Camero.  OMG.  I’ve never been so in love with a car before. And an American one at that!  And crabs!  Did you know there are baby hermit crabs out in the bottom of the ocean, about 30 feet out? I was having a blast picking them up with my toes and holding them.  I think I have a crab problem.

The adventure continues tonight with drinks and board games after dinner, as they leave tomorrow for home.

I’m leaving too…..for home, in a way.  Monday morning I set sail via an aeroplane to Illinois to meet up with my mom and start our roadtrip, “The Knuckle to the Thumb Tour.”  Confused? We’re going to Michigan (Look at your left hand.  See the lower part of Michigan?  LOL.)  We’re heading to Deeeeeetroit and then up to the thumb area by Lake Huron.  It’s a very nostalgic trip: Detroit is where my family is from and I plan to research a bit more into the past.  If all goes well and I can trick my mom, I also want to go to the cemetery where everyone is buried…..on the wrong side of town.  I’m actually a little miffed I don’t have a conceal to carry permit.  I’d feel much better if I was packing some heat.  We’re also going to see some live relatives, too like Austin.  I’m really excited to go back to the cottage of my youth.  And to top it all off, we’re going to hit up my mom’s hometown, where she hasn’t been to in over 30 years – and I’ve never been there.  It’ll be great to be there with a narrator!  I’m so excited – I’ve yet to pack, I should probably get on that – and I plan to blog from the road.

I’m breaking a cardinal rule of flying on this trip:  I’m taking my rollerboard suitcase instead of packing a week’s worth of stuff into compression bags in my back pack.  I may end up taking my back pack instead, but since I have a direct flight both directions, I feel better about it.

Oy, my back is burnt too.

I guess this trip answers the age old question: Where do people who live at the beach go on vacation?  Answer: The Rust Belt.

Run, don’t walk

….to Britt’s Donuts!  I’ve lived in the Cape Fear region for 5 years now and I have never been to Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach at the Boardwalk.  That all changed this morning.

The General and I headed down to Kure Beach this morning to hang out.  The waves were nice, but I didn’t bring my board because he said there weren’t any waves on the beach cam.  We took the boogie boards out, but my board rash from yesterday’s awesome session on my 6’2 short board (that I can stand up on if I squat down – it’s really pathetic surfing wise, but I had a blast!) kept me from boogie boarding properly.  So we sat on the beach awhile, as I was still half awake.

We decided to get breakfast and get some espresso in me.  Our 1st stop was Majik Beanz, a hippy-dippy coffee shop off the main drag in CB.  I got a latte with some chocolate vanilla in it and I am in heaven.  We then walked to the boardwalk for donuts.  Now, I’m not a big donut fan.  It’s the one sweet treat I can say no to.  I don’t crave them.  I usually am very picky (chocolate) about what kind (chocolate) I like; no glaze (chocolate), no cream-filled stuff (chocolate).  I was skeptical, but everyone I know raves about this place so I had to try it.

Oh. My. God.  Amazing.  They melt in your mouth.  My mouth wasn’t watering, it was crying for more Britt’s Donuts.  I told the General we had to leave before I bought another one.  And other one.  I could have finished off an entire dozen myself (if only it all went to my boobs…..).  It’s a good thing that they are only open during the tourist season and only take cash – I rarely carry cash.  I will be back!  And they’re 85 cents a piece.

Another fun spot introduced to me by Samantha was The Fuzzy Naval   The Peach Belly Button  The Fuzzy Peach.  They have one up off Racine, downtown, and soon to be Monkey Junction.  It’s heaven.  All sorts of flavors of frozen yogurt with EVERY TOPPING YOU CAN IMAGINE!  From fruit to crushed up graham cracker to anything with chocolate, holy cow, it’s an amazing experience.  You pay based on weight, you get to fill yours up!  I joked they have one in heaven, but when you get to the cash register, Jesus shows up and says, “No, it’s okay.  I got this, it’s paid for.”  Samantha, Charlotte and I sat around eating these amazing creations and catching up since it had been forever since we chatted.  We just need our Miranda and we’d be all set.

I live in paradise.

A little crispy around the edges

I made a promise to myself this summer: I would not work overtime.

I lied.

I’ve spent most of the summer at work.  It’s been good: we now get critical staffing pay (~$7 after Uncle Sam takes his cut) on top of time and a half.  Not bad.  The worst part?  It’s July and I feel like I’m wasting my summer.  The General has commented on this as well — our different schedules only let me see him just a few hours before or after my shift.  We did this for a month and half before we had a day off together.  That sucked.

So, after my 3rd weekend of double shifts (32 hours), I decided I am done.  Then it comes to Independence Day: we only have 2 people on the schedule.  We need a minimum of 5 to run the place.  I feel like I should take a slot; I’m hoping to use that as my bargaining chip.  I want Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day (and a few days around it) off because of family.

The General has a family reunion Labor Day and it’s a blast camping out in the hills on his Polish ancestor’s homestead.  As for Thanksgiving, for the 1st time in my adult life, I am hosting my parents (and my sister and my future BIL) down here in NC for a traditional southern Thanksgiving (which includes homemade macaroni and cheese).  I figured I’d work Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day to accommodate it.  Seeing as how I worked this past New Year’s Day, Easter, and Memorial Day…..I don’t know.

If I work the 4th of July, that will put me on a 7 day stretch, beginning with 2 double shifts back to back.  I was a hot mess when I came back for an 8 hour stint after my double last time.  I was pretty ugly to my co-workers.  While I can sleep in and take it easy the rest of the week before work, I still have to go into what can be a catastrophic day.  And because I’ve been there the longest, a lot of the times I am the lucky one who gets to put out fires, i.e. solve the problems that arise.

I feel I am starting to burn out……I’m a little scorched.

I’m not the only one.  The wildfires north of us in Pender County are finally in control after the massive rainstorm.  I awoke today to a very hazy morning, filled with smoke.  That killed our run, it couldn’t be good to breath all that in.  It’s clearing more now, so I think I’ll hit the pavement before work.

I’m off tomorrow…..I’m going to watch the sun rise at Kure Beach.  It’s been awhile and I think it will help set the tone for what could be the longest week ever.

Stat R&R bolus to be transfused over a summer afternoon

image

After spending 2/3 of my weekend (read: 32 hours) at work, I can officially say I’m burnt out. I was a frustrated mess yesterday, I didn’t play nice with others. Today I was bound and determined to get out of my work-induced funk.

I ran 2 miles, breakfasted with my General, and headed to one of my favorite places on earth: my secret spot at Kure Beach. The sun was out, the water refreshing, and the book I’m reading about the civil war is nearly finished. I’m also reading “The Lonely Sea,” a collection of short stories by Alistair MacLean, one of my favorite authors. (St. George + the Dragon is my all time favorite.)

Dehydrated and still feeling the stress, despite the beach, I stopped in Carolina Beach at The Treehouse Bistro for a mid afternoon cuppa white chocolate iced mocha. They put mocha ice cubes in it! How awesome! And now I’m sitting on their balcony, watching CB go by. Birds are singing and the soothing ocean breeze is slowly calming my soul. I have a high tea time with Jesus followed by straightening up my house and dinner with Samantha.

I’m hoping to watch the sun rise on the ocean sometime this week, maybe from the pier. My friend J will hopefully come down this weekend to celebrate 10 years of friendship and catch up on life.

This will be my 1st weekend off work since before Memorial Day. I’m going to enjoy it, cuz I’m back to my 32 hour weekend the following week. And thus the cycle begins again….

Late afternoon ramblings under the influence of green tea

I spent the 1st part of the afternoon at Kure Beach — the water is starting to actually be warm.  It’s not that biting cold it was a month ago and now it’s just refreshing.  It also helped that today’s high was 33.

I came home for a quick bite of kaesebroet, German for cheese bread (i.e. a French baguette with shredded mozzarella) and then decided to head out into the homeward stretch of reclaiming my yard from the onslaught of green-briers.  I wasn’t all that successful.  I got the last flowerbed cleared out of brush from the past decade, but was thwarted by the mosquitos. One bit me on the face, just below my left eye so I can actually see my cheek when I look straight ahead…..I mean really!  Bug spray does not affect these creatures.  I was willing to let it go until I saw a snake slither into bushes.  It was just a garter snake – as I say, I’d much rather have a snake problem than a rodent problem – but I figured that was a good stopping point.  Garter snakes are harmless, but we just killed a baby water moccasin the other day, so I’m a bit on edge still.

There is a neighborhood block meeting tonight about the neighborhood watch program they are starting.  I should go.  I need to meet more people in the neighborhood.  The General and I went to a HOA meeting last week and I am by far the youngest homeowner here.  They went over a lot of the info there and I really don’t see how another meeting about it would help.  I’m not going simply because I just don’t feel like it.

I’m making this for dinner.

I need to clean up the kitchen.  I need to do laundry.  I work 16 hour shifts both Saturday and Sunday so I need to have not only my game face on, but clean socks.

Rhett, my tabby cat, is watching me type all this by sitting on my printer and staring at me.  He wants to go out on our enclosed deck and I won’t let him because I have the AC on.  He fails to understand how expensive it is, especially when you have the door open.  Why not just close the door, you wonder?  Because in addition to being a scardy cat, he’s also claustrophobic and will rip out the weather stripping on the door if in feeble attempts to open it.  Speaking of which, I need to replace it.  He ripped through it again.  If he only he paid rent….

One of my favorite bands, Halestorm, just released an album of cover songs they did…..wow.  Here’s one of my favorite Beatles’ songs they did:

And Lady GaGa:

And in some really good news, the crepe myrtle tree we moved is making new leaves after some TLC.  If there were an ICU for plants, it was there.  It’s condition has been moved from critical to stable.  Yay.  Water an compost seems to fix most problems around here.

And now for some more tea.  But 1st, a shower to get all the salt and mud off of me.  Ah, summertime in North Carolina.  How I missed ye.

Surf Naked

Here’s what I got to surf today!  I made the picture large so you can see the beautiful glassy face of the wave right as it’s about to break.  I got lucky on this shot, due to my lack of photography skills and the camera I am using has a whopping 3.2 MP.

It was a perfect morning for surfing here in the Carolina coast.

After a rough night of machines malfunctioning (ah, to accidently change the set points…) and learning that I have my very own ova and parasite farm in my house (read: cats got fleas from the porch and now they’re in my dream home), I was in desperate need of some relaxing ocean waves on my 7’6 epoxy.

Despite how nice these waves look, some of them packed some serious punch.  I pearled pretty hard a few times and even managed to get caught in the break zone, stuck on the inside during a couple of sets.

I was amused at how I was almost down the face of a wave and it would lift the back of my board up and *ker plunk* I was in the soup.

Nonetheless, it was so awesome, a very high stoke factor today!

I think I will have to go back to board shorts – even tho thong bathing suits are banned at KB, I had some pretty ugly ocean-induced weggies.  I’m not sure if my suit is just wearing out or if my butt has shrunk more by jogging.

This problem could be so easily solved by just surfing naked.  I would contend with board rash on my nipples if I didn’t have to worry about my suit going every which way. And no tan lines!  I have thought about just showing up in board shorts, I have whatever is less than an A cup is, so I figured I could pass for a guy.

Surfing naked is on my bucket list.  I’m just not sure when – or if – it’ll happen.  It could be never, or the next big wave that hits me and knocks my suit off.  Tequila makes her clothes fall off, why not the ocean?

Updating….

Wow, 2 months have escaped me.  Where does the time go?

It would be too much for me to go into detail about all our adventures, so here are the highlights:

  • Had 24 hours, 8 dedicated to work, to unload our POD before it was due to be picked up.
  • Painted the guest bathroom a dazzling shade of blue
  • Painted the guest room a beautiful sky blue
  • Painted the hallway a beachy sand color
  • And all of the moulding.  Stark white.  Did I mention 3 coats of paint to cover the awful almond color?
  • And all of the doors.  Stark white.  Did I mention the 5 coats of paint to cover the awful almond color?
  • Discovered primer half way through the painting process and have embraced it
  • Painted the master bath a seagreen color that came out darker than I had envisioned, but it is so nice now
  • Oh, and the moulding.  And the doors.  It still needs a top coat.
  • Got couches, end tables, and a kitchen table.  It finally looked like people lived here and not nomad college students.
  • Had a girl’s nite complete with frozen drinks and poker ’til 0200 and it was awesome!
  • Had our 1st quasi-formal dinner party with a friend.  On the menu: mahi, king crab, and potatoes.
  • About to have a house warming party with random people stopping by.  This should be fun!

My new favorite surf spot is Kure Beach.  No paying for parking, no surf zones, less crowded.  Perfect.  I never thought I would find somewhere other than Wrightsville.

Life is good.